Fiona and Ian will never again be used to name an Atlantic hurricane | CBC News

No storm named Fiona will ever again bear down on Atlantic Canada — or anywhere else in the Atlantic Ocean. 

The World Meteorological Organization has retired the names Fiona and Ian from its roster of tropical storm names, citing the damage caused by hurricanes with those names in 2022.

Hurricane names in the Atlantic region are used in a six-year rotation, so Fiona and Ian were next due to be used in 2028. 

“Farrah will be used to replace Fiona in the lists of names, whilst Idris will replace Ian,” the World Meteorological Organization said in a news release Wednesday.

“Fiona was a large and powerful hurricane, which hit communities in the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos,” the agency said. “It then moved northward over the western Atlantic and struck Canada as a strong post-tropical cyclone in September 2022, bringing significant damage and loss of life along its path.” 

This drone photo shows the extensive damage post-tropical storm Fiona caused at Rustico Resort in New Glasgow, P.E.I. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

Fiona left many parts of Atlantic Canada with shattered forests, mass power outages and damaged homes. Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton and southwestern Newfoundland were the hardest-hit areas.

At least 25 lives were lost as the storm system rolled up from the Caribbean, including a woman washed out to sea in Port aux Basques, N.L., as Fiona ripped homes off their foundations. 

The weather organization called Fiona “the costliest extreme weather event on record in Atlantic Canada.” 

A report issued in December by Christian Aid, a U.K.-based charity, identified Hurricane Fiona as one of the 10 most expensive climate disasters of 2022. 

Damaged by Fiona, wharves being rebuilt to weather any storm

With lobster season set to start in April, the race is on to repair wharves along the Gulf of Saint Lawrence that were severely damaged by post-tropical storm Fiona. The plans include rebuilding them to withstand stronger, more unpredictable storms.

As well as the deaths, the charity said Fiona displaced 13,000 people and caused nearly $4 billion Cdn in damages.

Hurricane Ian hit western Cuba before making landfall in southwestern Florida at Category 4 strength. 

“Ian caused a devastating storm surge in southwestern Florida and is responsible for over 150 direct and indirect deaths and over US$112 billion in damage in the United States, making it the costliest hurricane in Florida’s history and the third costliest in the United States,” the World Meteorological Organization said. 

Damaged shorefront building.
Post-tropical storm Fiona made landfall in Nova Scotia in September 2022. Shorefront buildings suffered major damage in places. (Patrick Morrell/CBC)

With the addition of Fiona and Ian, 96 names have been retired from the Atlantic basin list since 1953, when storms began to be named. 

Storms are named in the order in which they form during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. 

For 2023, the names will be Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harold, Idalia, Jose, Katia, Lee, Margot, Nigel, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, Whitney. Of those, Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel are new names, replacing the retired 2017 storm names Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate. 

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